Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)
The program responds to a desire to transition away from a traditional departmental model to promote interdisciplinary collaboration at a rapidly growing College of Engineering. Following the Program/Concept Design study, Goody Clancy is currently designing the new building for VCU.
The primary focus of the Engineering Research Building (ERB) building will be research and economic development that translates new discoveries and technologies into innovative applications. The programming and planning stage was an interactive and iterative process. The design team met with key representatives of each of the existing departments for informal discussions about how they use the current facilities, what their greatest unmet needs are, and their anticipated future research directions. This stage was organized around monthly workshops with the VCU client team, supplemented by intermediate web-based meetings and program and design deliverables.
Through the ERB, the College aims to build new lab space focused on biomedical engineering but cutting across all disciplines, invest in a new makerspace and Innovation Center, further promote interdisciplinary research, and better integrate its existing facilities, leveraging the potential of the building to foster a more collaborative research environment.
Ultimately, as researchers and laboratory spaces are shifted to the ERB, there is a further opportunity for the College to repurpose, renovate, and backfill the spaces in the existing Engineering East and West Halls that are likely to be vacated after the ERB is completed.